marriage and the true one flesh union

Marriage, in God’s eyes, is designed to be a small glimpse of heaven here on earth.  But, what happens when one or both of the partners is in a spiritual battle with Satan?   It would make sense that it would affect both partners.

I guess I am just pretty slow on the uptake!  It only took me 25 years of marriage to learn but at least I finally learned this most valuable lesson about marriage that never really hit home before.  You see, I ‘knew’ this all along.  It just didn’t really sink in until now.

We all know the teachings about marriage:

Some Pharisees approached him, and tested him, saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?” He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.  So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.”  Matthew 19:3-6

This is a very powerful passage that I know well and could probably recite with little problems.  But, the day to day living out of this passage is another story!

The concept here that I am talking about is the “one flesh”.  I have always understood this as the union between husband and wife and how they need to operate as one unit for a successful marriage and family.  I definitely know that when we aren’t acting in this way, life within the family is pretty rocky. But, it wasn’t until the last few weeks, that the true depth of this teaching finally hit me.

You see, one flesh goes so much deeper than I ever thought!  If one or both of the spouses in a marriage are experiencing spiritual warfare, it isn’t my problem or his problem anymore.  Since the spouses are indeed one flesh — what is my problem IS his problem; what is his problem IS my problem.  It is a united battle.  And if one of the spouses doesn’t quite see it that way, the battle might still be won, but the marriage won’t be as strong.  It is only when they attack the battles they are experiencing as individuals as the one flesh union that they truly are, that they have the strength of God.

So, EVERYTHING we battle in life including what is being confessed during the Sacrament of Reconciliation isn’t just that person’s issue to work out with God, it is something you as spouses are jointly learning to work out with God.  At least this is true if you believe in the one flesh union.

I know.  I’m slow.  It only took me 25 years to realize the full extent of this most important lesson of all. *sigh*

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